What Type Leash Should You Use?
A leash is the most important tool in your canine tool box.
If you are a first time dog owner, and are looking for a leash that will keep him from pulling on the leash, understand that no leash you purchase will help you. No dog wants to be restricted from what he wants to run towards (i.e., squirrels, other dogs etc). For your dog to stop pulling on lead will take training and patience from you in order to get your dog under-control. So don’t despair, it’ll happen with time and your dog’s maturity.
Let’s talk about types of leashes and what they are used for. I’m only going to mention 3 different types here, and my own thoughts on how to help you gain control over your dog whilst walking, to hopefully avoid injury to yourself, and potentially your dog - but, dog’s seldom are harmed by pulling on their leash. This is the result of using the wrong collars ( i.e., prong collars). I used a prong collar 20 years ago and I didn’t like it at all. These should not be used. So having said that, let’s take a look at what type is best for your pooch and you!
Retractable Leash: This is NOT for the beginner leash walker but for the experienced, well-trained dog and handler. This type of leash should be avoided. They are very untrustworthy; by this I mean they often break, and it’s difficult to recall the dog. By using this type, it’s easy for the dog to get out of control, and their owner to lose control. In many cases, the owner hasn’t put forth the effort to learn how to effectively and safely leash train their dog, added with the dog’s lack of recall skills. Link to Retractable Leashes Deadly/Dangerous website
Harness: The harness is for the advanced to intermediate dog handler. Imagine you're a boxer and you offer to train your opponent - who you want to take control of. Let’s say through weight training. You begin by helping her increase muscle mass, and strengthening her by feeding her healthy meals, great treats (protein shakes), you get the drill. Why are you doing this with your dog? A dog harness is very similar to strength training for your canine. A dog’s upper body strength is powerful and they will usually attack their opponent(s) by standing on their back legs, and using upper body strength to take down the other dog or human. The only time you should use a harness is if your veterinarian medically advises that you should; specifically, if your dog has sustained an injury or had surgery etc.
Regular Nylon/Leather Leash: This is my go to. People have told me, “But my dog coughs and gags, when I’m walking her,” my response is; “Of course she does, it’s not natural." She’ll feel uncomfortable for a while, but will come to realize, I get more freedom if I acquiesce. It’s not cruel. There are multiple training tips I will offer in another blog on how to avoid mental and physical stress to you, and hopefully, your dog while walking her on a leash.